I recently had an amazing elopement in the mountains near Ouray, Colorado. While planning my elopement I discovered that finding the perfect wedding dress can be an exciting but slightly daunting task. With so many options out there it can be overwhelming to find your dream dress amongst all the different styles, silhouettes, textures, colors, and fabrics. Not to mention keeping up with the ever-changing trends of the wedding world. If you are trying to avoid trying on hundreds of different gowns at 10 different bridal boutiques, use these 15 tips for finding the perfect wedding dress.
15 Tips For Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress
Do Your Research.
Before you make your first bridal gown appointment, make sure you are prepared and do your research. Make a list of designers that you love, and book at a store that carries a lot of those same brands and styles. Find pictures (Pinterest is your friend!) of the vibe and overall look you are wanting so you can show your stylist. It is a great idea to check the Instagram of the boutique you are making an appointment with to see if there are any specific dresses you know you will want to try on.
Make an Appointment.
You want to make sure you are getting the proper attention and help when trying on gowns, so making an appointment is vital. Make an appointment at a few different places, as you might want to shop around before making an ultimate decision.
While bringing in all your wedding dress inspo, doing your research, and having an idea of the type of gown you are wanting is a great thing, make sure you remain open-minded to styles you may not have thought about before. I had it in my head that for my wedding I wanted a flowing, Grecian style dress. Something fitted to the waist and then with a lot of body and movement. Once I started trying on this specific type of dress, I realized I did not like the way these dresses looked on me. at. all. I had to change my whole mindset and if I hadn’t I would have never found my dream dress!
Don’t be afraid to try on something totally out of your comfort zone, as you may surprise yourself and love the way it makes you feel!
Ivory, White, Cream, Blush?
Think about branching out from the traditional pure white gown! Try on many different shades to see what works with your skin tone and what makes you feel your very best. I love the romance a subtle blush or lavender gown exudes. A nude underlay looks so pretty and elegant, or you can wow in a bold print. Nothing is off-limits and choosing the right color for your gown is a great way to show off your style and personality.
Bridal Sizing Beware.
Don’t go into your wedding dress appointment with a certain size in mind you think you should be wearing. Just don’t do it, girl. Wedding dresses tend to run small, and just like allll women’s apparel it varies from designer to designer. It doesn’t matter what the number on the tag says, only that you feel your very best!
Order One Size Up.
Most of the gowns you are trying on in the store are sample sizes, and they have been tried on by a hundred different brides. Because of this, they tend to get stretched out. If the exact size you tried on in the store fits perfectly, then make sure you order one size up from that. Even if you know you are wanting to lose weight before your wedding, don’t order a smaller size! If you lose weight and need to get it taken it, no problem, but don’t add stress onto yourself by feeling like you need to be a certain size by your wedding day.
Plus, you’re perfect just the way you are!
To Budget or Not to Budget?
Learn from my mistakes, y’all! If you set a certain budget on how much you want to spend on your wedding dress, don’t try on any gowns above that price range. It will only bring you heartache, yearning, and ultimately you will fall in love with the dress way out of your price range and end up buying it anyway. If you have a certain price range you simply cannot go above then don’t try on dresses above that!
Don’t forget to factor in your veil, any hair accessories, shoes, and jewelry as these things add up as well.
Know Your Wedding Vibe.
Are you wanting to get married at the beach or in the mountains? Are you having a traditional church wedding, a bohemian style elopement, a massive party, or an intimate backyard event? Knowing the feel and vibe of what your dream wedding day will help you so much when deciding what style of dress you should get. Make sure this is the first thing you decide on before booking an appointment to try on dresses.
Wear Proper Undergarments.
It can be hard to tell how a dress truly looks when your lace-y bra is sticking out the top and your bright red underwear lines are showing through. When try on dresses always wear a nude strapless bra, and throw on a pair of Spanx for good measure. Bring some heels to try on with it, and come into the appointment feeling your best.
Can you Dance in Your Wedding Gown?
Two things to test out before saying ‘yes to the dress.’ Can you sit in it and can you dance in it? Walk around in your dress, make sure you can sit down comfortably, make sure you can lift your arms without it slipping down, and most importantly, make sure you can drop it low girl.
Choose Your Shopping Crew Wisely.
Who you choose to take with you on your shopping excursion is one of the most important decisions you can make when trying to find your perfect wedding dress. I know you love your mama, aunt Mary, your fifteen bridesmaids, your second cousin, and your three soon to be sister-in-law’s, but for this occasion, it’s best to keep your shopping crew to a minimum.
Ever tried to get a diverse group of people to agree on what to eat for dinner? No easy task. Now think about them trying to all agree on what dress you should wear for your special day. All the different opinions will make it even harder for you to decide what you truly love without being influenced. Narrow your group down to just one or two people whose opinions matter most to you.
Wear What Makes YOU Feel Beautiful.
Regardless of what everyone else says, you need to go with the dress that makes you feel the most beautiful, confidant, and special. While it is okay to take other peoples opinions into consideration, ultimately what really matters is that you, and you alone, absolutely love the dress you chose. You aren’t going to have the same style and taste as some of your friends, or even your mom or sister, but if you love your wedding dress, that confidence is going to radiate through on your big day.
There Don’t Have To Be Waterworks.
We’ve all seen the bridal shows like, Say Yes To The Dress. Typically when a bride finds the dress that is ‘the one’ she bursts into tears, and a lot of brides think that tears are the way to decipher if it’s the right dress or not. Don’t put that pressure on yourself! Not every bride cries when they see themselves in their wedding dress for the first time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not absolutely perfect.
Be 100% Sure Before You Buy Your Wedding Dress.
If you decide you don’t like the wedding dress anymore after you buy it, you most likely will not get any of the deposit you put down. If you have any feelings of doubt or uncertainty, take a day or two to think about it. Look over the pictures you took, see how you feel when you envision yourself walking down the aisle in it. Make sure you are 100% certain before purchasing as it is a big and expensive decision!
Stop Looking When you Find the Perfect Gown.
Similar to when you find your fiance, after you purchase your dress, stop looking! No perusing Pinterest or Instagram anymore. You’ve made your decision and you are going to look perfect! Looking at other gowns is just going to make you second guess your decision and bring unnecessary doubt.
Instead, focus on how excited you are to show off to everyone on your big day!
For any local Arkansas girls, I found my dress at Unveiled in Little Rock. I had a great experience there, and they have so many beautiful, elegant and unique gowns. You can check out their Instagram here. The designer of my wedding gown is Ines De Santo, and I immediately fell in love with it. I tried on a lot of dresses, but honestly as soon as I saw this dress online I knew it was meant to be mine. I felt so beautiful on my wedding day, and every time I look back at these photos I am so happy I was able to find my dream man and my dream dress. Good luck in your search, and hope these 15 tips for finding the perfect wedding dress have helped you. You are going to make for one stunning bride!
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